“Quench not the Spirit.” 1 Thessalonians 5:19
The Spirit is telling you to stand up in church and testify, but you put it off until the time is past. You feel the urge to sing a song, but you are afraid you will embarrass yourself. You know you need to talk to someone and pray for him, but you hesitate a little too long. These are examples of how we quench the Spirit.
There are several reasons (excuses) for not following the prompting in our hearts:
“I’m not sure it was God speaking to me.” Who else is speaking to your heart? If it isn’t God, you need to find out who it is and tell him to leave.
“I’m too shy.” The Bible says He will make us bold and confident. “In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him” (Ephesians 3:12).
“I’m a woman, they don’t want to hear what I have to say.” Gods looks on the inside, our hearts, not the outside. Some examples of women in the Bible who followed the Spirit are the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well (John 4:28-30), and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and other women who were in the upper room at Pentecost (Acts1:14).
“This is not the church I belong to.” The church is not any specific congregation in any specific building. The church is made of all believers.
“What if he gets mad at me for wanting to talk and pray with him?” If God tells you to go to someone, the Holy Spirit has already been preparing that person. Your obedience is what is important. God will reward your effort, regardless of the outcome. It is up to that person to accept or reject your efforts. “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.” (Matthew 10:14)
After the time passes that we should have done what we didn’t do, we most likely have a funny feeling deep inside. Sometimes we feel sad. Our spirit is letting us know we let God down. We usually say a quick prayer asking for forgiveness and vow we won’t let it happen again. Then we go on with our lives like it’s no big deal. But it is a big deal! This is where chastisement comes in.
“For whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom He receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?” (Hebrews 12:6,7)
Most people think of being chastised by God as becoming sick, having an accident, or losing a job. The chastisement of God is that little, hollow feeling you get in the center of you being when you disobey the Spirit. It’s an uncomfortable feeling, at least until we busy ourselves enough to ignore it. The next time you quench the Spirit the hollow place grows a little larger and may stick around a little longer. As you keep on shunning the Holy Spirit, the hollowness increases, crowding your spirit. What eventually occurs is an inability to hear God’s Spirit at all.
How awful to be so chastised of God that you quit listening to Him! That’s not God’s will. He wants His people to stay in tune with Him. If they mess up, He forgives. He finds no pleasure in repeatedly punishing His children, but God’s children are like our own. They forget (or ignore) the rules. They get selfish and unpleasant at times, but we still love them. And God still loves His children.
Nobody is attentive and obedient all the time, so it is good that we have an advocate with the Father. Jesus will plead our case and ask for mercy and forgiveness for us.
How great is that?!!
“Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” Colossians 4:6